I think the Spain Herald is improving. I'm getting a lot better at translating and I'm especially improving as an editor; the first thing I do is cut excess verbiage, which shortens the average story by half. We're also selecting better stories, though we are of course the mouthpiece for the PP (something I don't mind being) and have to run one short a day on whatever the PP's latest complaint against Zap is. I complained about the number of stories we were running on our particular bete noire, Gregorio Peces Barba, who is merely a Socialist clown of no particular importance, and that's been cut down, and the number of stories bashing our media enemy, the Grupo Prisa, which runs the competition's radio station, the SER, and El Pais. (Our radio station is the COPE.) Those subjects have been cut back, though they still crop up occasionally.
I think the error we're making in the right-wing media and the PP is continually refighting the last election. It's the same mistake the Democrats made after 2000. The Dems could not accept that Bush won fair and square according to the law, and spent the next four years whimpering that Gore should be President instead. They never came up with any sort of reasons people should vote for them except for pure hate against Bush and they proceeded to get creamed in the 2002 midterms and then clobbered again in 2004. They had no message, they weren't in favor of anything, they gave no one hope for the future. No wonder they lost.
We, the PP, are in danger of doing the same thing. Look, Zap won fair and square according to the law. Yes, it was a freak victory that would never have happened if not for the bombings, and the behavior of the left-wing media and the PSOE was scandalous, but it was nonetheless a victory and we have to accept that. Now let's move on. Let's come up with an alternative program. Let's tell the people how we're going to improve the economy and keep taxes low and shrink the state and return to responsibility in foreign affairs and defeat the terrorists and cut down crime and improve education and reduce local government corruption and move away from the politics of symbolism, and let's stop whining about getting beat in 2004. What we need to do is concentrate our full attention on beating them in 2008. Everybody sympathetic to us has already heard our message on what a bunch of lying sacks of shit the Socialists and their pet media are, and they're convinced; everybody unsympathetic to us has already heard that message, too, and we're not going to convince any of them no matter if we prove that Bin Laden is Zap's personal dominatrix.
If you check in today over at the Herald you'll see a story on Zap's newest education reform, which is of course a pile of hippie crap. I thought I'd steal an old gag, though, and design the official
NEW SOCIALIST FINAL MATH EXAM
1. If we sell €1.3 billion worth of arms to one Latin American dictator in the name of peace and solidarity, and earn a profit of €400,000, how much money will we make if we sell the same amount of arms to five Third World dictators?
2. Koldo is an ETA terrorist. If he is sentenced to 1,762 years in prison for fourteen murders, but the maximum time served in Spain is thirty years, and Koldo gets twelve years off for good behavior, how many months in the slam will Koldo serve for each murder he committed?
3. If the government owns a heavily subsidized, obsolete failing shipyard that will go broke in two years, and gets an arms contract that will allow the shipyard to survive four more years, how many union votes will the government pick up and how much will each new Socialist vote cost the taxpayers?
4. If an average of ninety people live in each Barcelona apartment building, and an incompetently designed and built subway tunnel collapses destroying four buildings, how many people will be left homeless, how much money did the Socialists in the local regional and municipal governments scam off the top, how many of them will actually be tried and convicted for embezzlement and abuse of power, and how much will the taxpayers be hit up for when the government promises each homeless family an indemnization of eight bajillion euros in order to calm them down?
5. Jordi is in a coma at the Leganes hospital and the government-approved management decides to turn off the machines keeping him alive and give him an overdose of sedatives in order to permit him to die with dignity. What are the chances Jordi is conscious of his situation and, at the rate of one Jordi a week, how many other helpless people has the hospital management killed?
6. Mohammed is wanted by the Moroccan police though he is only fifteen years old, and so he fled to Spain. Mohammed commits on average one armed robbery and one mugging a week. How many people will he victimize before the cops arrest him, how many times will he be arrested before he gets put in jail, and how many hours will he serve before he is released? Extra credit: How many people will Mohammed have victimized before he turns 20, and how likely is he to ever get deported?
7. Pepa flunks reading, writing, and math in the ninth grade, but is neverless passed up to tenth because she can pass with three failing grades under the new education plan. How many classes will she fail during her entire high school career if we assume she flunks three a year, and how much of the teacher's and other students' time will be wasted in the course of trying to deal with her over an entire school year?
8. The Prime Minister insults the United States publicly twice a month. How long will it take before the United States does the Prime Minister any favors, and how many seconds will the next conversation between the President and the Prime Minister last?
9. The extreme regional nationalist Esquerra Republicana party has one seat in Parliament, but the government coalition is dependent upon them as well as the Communists. How long will they get away with making the administration kiss their asses in public in order to get anything done before the entire population of Spain gets pissed off at the country's being run by clowns, freaks, and psychotics?
10. The average issue of El Pais contains 28,359 words. If 98% of them are lies, how many true words does El Pais print a day?